Cartel truce in Mexico?

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 04:52

The Los Angeles Times reports this morning that warring drug-trafficking gangs in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa may have declared a truce in December. The result is a sudden drop in the narco-fueled violence that claimed more than 5,000 lives across Mexico last year.

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Robert Gates on the Growing Presence of Russia and Iran in Latin America

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 01/28/2009 - 14:27

Recently, the growing presence of Russia and Iran in Latin America - especially in left-wing governments such as Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Bolivia - has elicited some concern in the United States. Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gave his opinion on Russia and Iran's role in Latin America at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on challenges the Defense Department faces.

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Speculation Continues on Relocation of Manta Air Base

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 01/22/2009 - 12:33

At the end of July 2008, Ecuador formally notified the United States that it will not renew the United States' ten-year agreement to use the Manta air base as a "Forward Operating Location" when it expires in November 2009. The United States has therefore "officially" known of the need to find a new location for the air base for six months and "unofficially" has been aware of its potential closing since Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa's election in 2006.

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Looking Forward: Obama and Latin America

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 01/21/2009 - 15:05

On the first full day of President Barack Obama's administration, newspapers throughout Latin America reported on the fanfare of the inauguration, the historical significance of the swearing in of the United States' first African-American president and the challenges that he must immediately confront. A few articles used the occasion to look at the future of U.S. policy toward the region and/or specific countries.

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Excerpts on Latin America from Clinton confirmation hearing

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 14:27

Yesterday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held its hearing to confirm Senator Hillary Clinton's nomination as the Obama administration's Secretary of State. During the hearing, Clinton focused on such topics as the conflicts in the Middle East, energy independence, and more mundane issues like potential conflicts of interest with Bill Clinton's international foundation.

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The President-Elect's first meeting with a foreign leader

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 12:01

Here is another contribution from CIP Intern Matthew McClellan on Monday's meeting between Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

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Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to Uribe

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 09:35

At 1:00 p.m. today, President Bush will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, along with two former prime ministers: Tony Blair of the UK and John Howard of Australia.

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The region's defense budgets

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 15:43

During the past few weeks, we noticed a significant increase in discussion of defense budgets throughout the hemisphere. In most countries, defense spending is on the increase. Here is an overview of recent media coverage from CIP Intern Matthew Mcclellan. The combined defense budgets of South American states increased from US$39 billion in 2007 to US$50 billion in 2008.

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Looking Back: Bush's Foreign Policy Toward Latin America

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 11:36

Yesterday National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he looked back on the "core convictions that have formed the basis of President Bush's foreign policy - what this administration has accomplished in key regions of the world - and what opportunities and challenges await the next administration." While his reminiscence spanned everything from the war in Iraq, to Russia, to relations with Europe, Hadley also revisited President Bush's policies tow

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Body Counts and Paramilitary Ties in Colombia

Submitted by SAM LatinAmerica on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 11:22

Yesterday, the National Security Archive posted four declassified documents on its website showing that the U.S. government was aware since 1994 of allegations that members of the Colombian military frequently collaborated with paramilitary groups, and killed civilians to present the bodies as dead guerrillas.

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